Recap / Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince C 10 The House Of Gaunt

Over the next few lessons, Harry continues to follow the Prince's instructions whenever they override the official ones. As a result, he becomes top of the class, outpacing even Hermione. He offers to share it with Ron and Hermione, but Ron struggles to read the handwriting and Hermione refuses the deviate from the official instructions. They wonder who the 'Half-Blood Prince' might be.

Harry goes to his first private lesson with Dumbledore. The headmaster won't yet fully explain the full reason for the lesson, but apparently it ultimately has much to do with the prophecy and Harry's survival. For the first time, Harry actually has permission to use the Pensieve. They dive in to see a memory by Bob Ogden, a late Ministry employee.

The follow Bob Ogden as he arrives in Little Hangleton, the village where Voldemort's parents lived. He goes to a house on the edge of the village. He visits a hovel where a wizarding family live. He meets the bad-tempered and bigoted wizard Mr Gaunt, his violent son Morfin and his Extreme Doormat daughter Merope. Ogden has come to report that Morfin must attend a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry, because he cast a jinx on a Muggle. While he's there, Mr Gaunt and Morfin are shown regularly abusing Merope. Despite living in squalour, Mr Gaunt demands Ogden treat him like royalty, because of his ancestry. He shows two heirlooms: a ring that apparently came from the Peverells and Salazar Slytherin's locket.

At that moment, two horse-riders are heard coming past. It's a young man called Tom, chatting with his girlfriend. Morfin reveals that it was the same Muggle man he attacked. He comes from the big house on the other side of the valley. He says that Merope fancies him. Mr Gaunt is furious and attacks his daughter. Ogden tries to stop him but has to retreat. Harry and Dumbledore follow him out, getting a brief glimpse of the two horse-riders before they exit the Pensieve.

Dumbledore then explains what happened next. Ogden returned with reinforcements. Marvolo Gaunt (yes, Voldemort's grandfather) was jailed for resisting them. So was Morfin, who was given a longer sentence. Merope (Voldemort's mother) was left in the house alone. Harry is surprised at first that she would ever have married Tom Riddle, but Dumbledore deduces that she probably used a love potion. The two married, to the astonishment of the village Muggles, and Merope became pregnant. At some point, Merope decided to stop using the love potion. Dumbledore's best guess is that she couldn't bear to keep enslaving him with magic and thought that he would now love her or at least stay with her to raise his son. Either way he was wrong; he deserted her. Marvolo died soon after returning and finding out that his daughter had gone.

Dumbledore concludes the lesson, telling Harry that he should share what he finds out with Ron and Hermione. On the way out, Harry notices a ring on a table. He realises it is Marvolo Gaunt's ring, and it's the same ring he saw Dumbledore wearing a few months ago. Dumbledore says that he acquired it a few days before visiting Privet Drive. Harry realises that this was around the time Dumbledore injured his hand, but the headmaster declines to explain any further.